Improving reproductive performance in overweight/obese women with effective weight management

Hum Reprod Update. May-Jun 2004;10(3):267-80. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmh018.

Abstract

Obesity and overweight are common conditions in the developed countries and they carry many health consequences, including some reproductive disorders. There is a very high prevalence of obese women in the infertile population and many studies have highlighted the link between obesity and infertility. A large proportion of infertile women have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is also linked with increased risk of obesity and other metabolic anomalies. The association between obesity and/or PCOS and hyperinsulinaemia, hyper androgenism and abnormal secretion of other hormones, such as leptin, underlies many reproductive disorders observed in this population. It has been demonstrated that weight loss can improve the fertility of obese women through the recovery of spontaneous ovulation, whereas others will have improved response to ovarian stimulation in infertility treatment. Therefore, it is proposed that following the initial assessment of infertility and body mass index or other measurement of obesity, various weight management interventions, including diet, exercise or pharmacotherapeutic approaches, should be considered for overweight and obese infertile women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / complications*
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Reproduction*